Does stress affect sleep?

Not all kinds of insomnia has its roots in stress but stress could be called a major contributing factor to sleep-loss.

A Survey that was take throughout America to gain insight into sleep habits of adults found that at least 40% of adults report not getting enough sleep.

A majority of adults surveyed that is 3 out of 4 report getting less than 8 hours sleep. 1 in 4 adults sleep for less than 5 hours every night.

Such sleep habits can put them at serious risk of several illnesses, loss of productivity and many mishaps.

But if stress is a contributing factor, reducing the same would bring in much-needed relief.

Stress can trigger insomnia and stress induced insomnia affects our ability to fall asleep and stay that way. This could in turn trigger hyper arousal disturbing sleep patterns and upsetting those.

Discovering the root cause of sleep problems

You may feel that sleeplessness is triggered due to insomnia but there could be other factors at work here.

To understand if stress is the real culprit try to figure out when did your sleep problems begin?

If you always feel let down that could be due to several factors including depression, chronic mood disorder or low serotonin production. This may or may not contribute to sleep-loss and the underlying factors could be something else.

If you began taking a certain kind of medication, some of the understated effects include loss in sleep.

Was it a major assignment at work that kept you awake with many sleepless nights in between? Is the stress from such assignments regularly hampering your sleep?

If stress is the reason for sleep troubles you should try to relax as much as possible.

People tend to worry too much they’re not getting sleep. And that worry fuels further problems— resulting in no sleep at all.

If it’s chronic stress you’re suffering from understanding how it acts on your body and responses the body produces in turn is going to help resolve it.

How does chronic stress act on us?

When our brain perceives a threat it releases a wave of hormones that trigger specific bodily responses.

Release of adrenaline results in the fight or flight response. But since today’s social situations are way different than what we experienced as primitive men where such responses actually helped us survive, today these responses just result in unfulfilled trigger responses.

This causes stress to build up over time. And as the situations that stress us have no end in sight the stress keeps building.

How to solve sleep problems by solving stress?

A healthy bedtime routine can go a long way in stemming sleep problems. I don’t know if you know this- but our body is regulated by a biological clock called circadian rhythm.

  • You won’t be able to lengthen the time you get shut-eye with one night. Slowly working towards a longer sleep time by sleeping early and waking up earlier is the way to go. This gradual increase will lengthen your sleep time.
  • We don’t notice this but most times a really comfortable pillow can help us with our sleep problems. There are people who like sleeping on the side and others want support on the back and such specialized pillows can make sleep a pleasant experience, help you sleep longer.
  • When suffering from insomnia you need to allot a time before you sleep to winding down. During this period it’s better not to read or do anything taxing including watching television. The blue light from digital screens disrupts our sleep cycle and interferes with the night time. We need a space for the alerting mechanisms in our brain to shut down and allow the brain as a whole to hibernate and go to sleep mode. You can listen to some soulful music to accelerate the shutting down, especially ones that seem to have a calming effect on you.
  • When sleeping try to avoid uncomfortable positions that can cause neck pain.
  • There’s little doubt to the fact that insomnia is an experience no one wants in their life. Insomnia itself is a cause for anxiety. We have trouble falling asleep and we raise a lot of trouble worrying if we’d fall asleep.
  • Instead of twisting and turning all night you should take control of your sleep habits and the bedroom. Associate positive emotions and sentiments with the bedroom. So don’t partake in anything that spoils the positivity associated with that room. Consequently move arguments out of that room, don’t eat food in your bedroom, don’t take your job to the bedroom, talking on the phone and other such activities should be avoided.
  • An extremely popular actor who’s known all over the world with tons of ad projects and movies under his belt has a policy that once he enters the house, he won’t take any calls from anyone. The house is for family interactions.

Smart Snacks For Healthy Teeth

Your teeth are important; they help you to chew food and articulate properly. There is also a large amount of research that shows healthy teeth and gums are linked to a healthy body!

But you already know that you need to look after them, the problem is how. Obviously brushing them and flossing them regularly helps. It is also a good idea to have any general dentistry procedures completed promptly.

However, what about when you want and deserve a little snack? It’s very easy to reach for the biscuits or the sweets; but there are much healthier options.

The Problem With Sugary Snacks

Every time you eat sugar some of it sticks to your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth will get to work on these sugary deposits to remove them. Unfortunately in the process they produce acid. The acid then attacks the enamel on your teeth. This is the hard outer layer that protects them.

Once the acid gets through the enamel you are at risk of cavities and tooth pain. That’s why it’s important to modify your snacks; avoiding excess sugar and fat is important. It’s also a good idea to minimize snacking between meals.

Here are some smart snacks you can have that will help you to keep healthy teeth:

  • Fresh fruit & Raw Vegetables. 

However you should be careful regarding the fruit. Some fruits have high sugar content themselves! These include pineapple, pears and watermelon!

  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Whole grain Cracker and breads

Again you need to be careful; the topping you place on your snack could make a big difference.

  • Yoghurt

You may wish to opt for low fat yoghurt however you’ll need to check what else is in it. Sometimes in order to reduce the fat and keep the flavor extra sugar or sugar substitutes are added.

Avoiding Cavities

Alongside eating smart snacks it is possible to reduce your risk of cavities by doing the following:

  • Drink Water

Drinking water helps to keep your mouth moist and reduces the impact of the aid on your teeth, effectively diluting it.

  • Avoid Sticky Foods

Sticky foods such as cake, sweets and even soft drinks will stick to your teeth doing more harm than other sugary foods. Avoid them whenever possible.

  • Eat Carbohydrates With Other Foods

By mixing your foods you are minimizing the opportunity for food to be left on your teeth and the damaging acidic reaction to start.

  • Limit Snacks

Of course lowering your sugary intake will help your teeth and your general health. As well as choosing healthy food and smart snacks you should attempt to reduce the amount of snacks you have each day.

  • Brush Twice A Day

Brushing your teeth is very important as it removes particles of food that can encourage bacteria action and acid release.

You can brush them after every meal but it is also possible to chew sugar free chewing gum as this will help to neutralize the acids in your mouth.

  • Floss Once A Day

Flossing at least once a day will remove food particles between your teeth, reducing their effectiveness at creating cavities.

  • Visit Your Dentist

Of course regular visits to the dentist are also essential to ensure any issues are picked up early and resolved.

3 Tips on Easing Yourself into a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy living has become a new buzzword, and this isn’t such a bad thing. People are increasingly understanding the importance of watching what goes into their bodies, encouraging more physical activity and trying to drop bad habits. However, living healthy can be a challenge for many, especially after years of adopting and practicing unhealthy habits. For this reason, instead of doing a dramatic switch, it’s often best to begin healthy living gradually and make it more of a process. On that note, this article is going to help you ease into that process by sharing three tips on healthy living with you.

Begin Changing Your Diet 

One of the first things that you can do when trying to ease yourself into healthy living begins by changing your diet. Try assessing your current eating habits and writing them down. You can then look at the unhealthiest of the bunch and see what healthy eating habits you can replace them with. If, for instance, you notice that you skip breakfast every day, try putting a cereal bar in your bag the night before so that you can eat something even if you’re on the go. In the same light, if you notice you have a tendency to eat snacks that consist of empty calories throughout the day, consider surrounding your home and work desk with healthy ones instead. Some healthy snacks you can try include crispy chickpeas, avocado toast, apricot oat bars, spiced nuts, spiced almonds, baked tortilla chips, and oven-roasted kale.

Make Getting a Checkup Routine 

Aside from changing your diet, another way that you can ease yourself into healthy living is by making it a priority to get routine checkups. Nothing gives you peace of mind like knowing that all is well, and your body is functioning as it should. It is typically advised that you consider getting a checkup at least once a year. You can choose to go to your usual doctor or visit a hospital if you need to run specific checks. There are platforms where you can check reviews to ensure you get the best care as well as help others by choosing to review a hospital on platforms such as HealthSoul. You can also try asking friends and family if you can’t seem to find one on your own and see what they recommend.

Try New Activities 

Not everyone is naturally athletic or a sports enthusiast. If this is the case for you, going from never attending the gym to going seven days a week may be unrealistic. Instead, why not try finding an activity you enjoy and doing it with a good friend? This way you can get the physical exercise you need in a way that is enjoyable. Some fitness activities you may want to consider include dancing, training for an active vacation, going on a treasure hunt, or trying something new like horseback riding or skating.

Healthy living is something that you have to commit yourself to if you want to be consistent with it. By trying some of the tips mentioned above, you should find that it gradually becomes easier. Every day offers different challenges; however, by focusing on the end goal which is a long and healthy life, you should be motivated to keep going.

Tips For Getting Yourself Back In Shape

It’s easy to fall off the wagon and quickly become overweight and unhappy with yourself. It’s far too common, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed if this happens to you. All you need is to get yourself back up to start again and begin changing your habits.

Getting yourself back in shape shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment, but a reward that’s going to allow you to live a long, healthy and happy life. Focus on all the positives that will come with you taking good care of yourself. Don’t obsess over the scale or mistakes you make along the way if you want to be successful on this journey. Remain positive and keep cheering yourself on as you strive to live a new and improved healthy lifestyle.

Set Goals & Track Progress

What you can’t do is wish and hope for change to occur. The only way you’ll see results from your efforts is if you write down your goals and track your progress as you go. It will help you make sure you’re not lying to yourself and cutting corners throughout the process. Be specific in your goal setting exercise and record how you’re going to meet each objective. Then be good about tracking your progress and keeping metrics and statistics for what you’re aiming to achieve.

Stop Unhealthy Behaviors

The only way to truly get back in shape is if you stop practicing negative behaviors. This is because they’re holding you back from all that’s possible on your journey to better health. For example, now is the time to get clean and remove all drugs and alcohol from your life if you want to be in the best shape possible. Give yourself a chance at doing so by using a facility like Clean Life that has trained professionals ready to help you find success in this area of your life. Clearing your body of toxins will allow you to improve your overall health and well-being quickly and you’ll soon be able to build a stronger body.

Motivate yourself & Exercise Daily

What you do each day matters greatly if you want to get back in shape. Read daily affirmations, other success stories and get to the gym consistently if you want to stay on track and see results. Now isn’t a time to slack and skip your workouts or stop motivating yourself mentally. Getting in shape is a lifestyle, and if you want lasting results, you can’t view your new habits as a temporary fix. You need to exercise regularly and make sure you have the right mindset for challenging yourself. For example, adopt new workout routines so you can build muscle and mental stamina.

Find Workout Clothes you like Wearing

One way to get yourself off the couch is to find attractive workout clothes that you enjoy wearing. It will hopefully motivate you to start exercising again, and you’ll feel confident going to the gym or out for a run when you’re sporting flattering looks. Splurge a little in the beginning on nice outfits you’re excited to show off and then reward yourself again later on when you lose weight and need new clothes for the gym. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated and headed in the right direction.

Secure A Workout Buddy

One strategy many people find useful for holding themselves accountable for getting in shape is to secure a workout buddy. Ask your spouse to join you or find a friend who’s also looking to exercise more and use each other as support throughout your journey to strengthen your bodies. This way when you’re feeling tired and unmotivated, you can count on this other person to talk you into going for a walk or hitting the gym together. It’s easier to lean on each other than it is to always depend on you to get yourself feeling inspired to workout.

Use Portion Control

Although getting back in shape involves exercise, you can’t forget to take into account your diet and what you’re eating to help you reach your goals. An excellent tool for maintaining or losing weight is portion control. Use measuring cups or a food journal if it helps you not cheat. Not only pay attention to what you’re eating, but also to how much food you’re consuming at one sitting. Stuffing yourself at each meal isn’t going to help you get back in shape, even though you may be going to the gym each day.

Take Pictures of yourself

Motivate yourself by taking pictures of how you currently look and posting the images where you can see them each day. As you start to lose weight and get in better shape, continue to take pictures of what you look like and hang them up so you can see for yourself how far you’ve come. Doing so will keep you mentally motivated to continue heading in the right direction and make you feel excited about getting in better shape. It is a great way to be brutally honest with how you look and inspire yourself to do more if you’re slacking.

Be Patient

You need to remain patient in this transformation and not get too caught up with any setbacks you experience. Getting back in shape isn’t going to be an easy or quick road. You’ll face obstacles, and there will be some days you’ll feel like you want to quit. While there may be hurdles to overcome, don’t let them stop you from reaching your goals. Keep your eye on the prize of how great you’re going to look and never stop believing in yourself.

Conclusion

Wanting to be healthier and get back in shape is a great attitude to have. Use these tips to help you outline your goals and put you on the right track to finding success. Remember it’s a journey and to keep going even though you may feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle. Celebrate your accomplishments and stay hopeful you’ll figure out a way to overcome the challenges.

5 Ways to Make Blogging Work for Your Health

When we talk about getting healthy and adopting a healthier lifestyle, we rarely think of sitting down in front of a computer to write a blog. Instead, most of our energy seems to be focused on getting up and moving. While that is a good thing, you can make blogging work for your health.

Maybe you already have a blog, or maybe you are just thinking of starting a health blog. If you don’t have one already, you will need to find an appropriate and relevant domain name, set up web hosting, and select a theme or design for your site. Once you have these things in place, you can get started blogging.

If you want to make blogging work for your health, what kind of things are you going to blog about? Here are 5 ideas for you.

Keep Track of What You’re Doing

A blog is a great place to log your workouts. There are even templates that let you do that. This might not be your most popular posts, but it helps you have a place, an online journal if you will, to record the things that you are doing.

Often the danger of gym workouts is that we tend to fall into a rut and do the same things over and over again. A record on your blog of what you are doing can help you not only see that pattern but break out of it. This is often why we don’t see progress toward our fitness goals.

This can also help you if you hire a coach or a trainer. They can look at what you have been doing, and the direction you want to go, and then give you the guidance you need to get there. For instance, if you have a 10K fun run coming up, your focus will be much different than if you are focusing on getting in better shape for rock climbing. Cardio might be a more important focus for the run, while upper body strength and grip may be more important for rock climbing.

Using your past workouts, your current physical fitness, and your goals either you or a trainer can set up a workout program that will get you where you need to go.

Log Your Diet

While working out is important, fitness is about 80% what you eat and 20% what you do. This means that keeping track of your diet is even more important than tracking your exercise. There are several debates about what constitutes the best diet, and there is no one-diet-for-all answer.

Some people need to limit calorie intake, especially if they are more sedentary at work. Others need to limit fat, or eat a high protein, low carb diet. Often medical conditions interfere with that as well. If you are anemic, you will need to take in more iron. If you are pre-diabetic, you will have to watch your sugar intake.

Either way, blogging both your food and your fitness logs gives you a way to look back on what you are doing, where you have had failures and where you are making progress. This information can be useful to your doctor as well when you are seeking advice for weight loss and fitness.

This record can also be an inspiration to others, readers following your journey. Sharing your plans, struggles, and victories can not only help you stay on track, but can lead others towards better health.

Find a Community

Besides your diet and exercise, your blog content should include your story: where have you come from and where are you going? What are your goals and what inspires you? Who do you look up to in your fitness community?

All of this will help you connect with others who are also seeking a healthier lifestyle. They may have tips and tricks to offer you while the opposite may be true as well. Establishing a community also opens you up to doing group activities and exercise that will not only allow you to mix up your routine, but to challenge yourself, learn, and progress as well.

Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to really get fit. The stronger your community, the more likely you are to succeed.

Stay Accountable

A community has an added benefit, one we briefly mentioned above but that bears emphasizing. A community can hold you accountable through your blog. Some of your readers may be local, and friends and family, but some may be from far away as well. This can have advantages. You will have those you can reach out to day or night.

If you skip going to the gym, if you do not post your diet for a day, and if you are just silent about what you are doing, having a group of readers that will call you on it and even express concern goes a long way. While they may not be actually at your gym, they are a virtual part of your workout team.

Accountability is the number one reason people fail at both fitness and diet. It is easy to make excuses to yourself, it is harder to make them to a group of people. Use your blog to stay accountable to the community you have built.

See Your Progress

It is also easy to lose sight of where you have come from. If you start out overweight and barely able to do a pushup and now you are down twenty pounds and doing thirty pushups a day, you have made significant progress. When you are sore or tired, it is easy to still see how far you have to go rather than how far you have come.

A health blog lets you see that progress in a physical and tangible way. When you are discouraged it is easy to look back, reach out to your community, and get back on track with what you should be doing with both your food and your exercise.

We don’t often think of blogging when it comes to getting fit, but you can make blogging work for your health by following these few simple steps.

Four tips for setting up a healthy eating club

Do you feel passionate about the many benefits of healthy eating? Are you eager to convince other people to adopt your positive mindset? Do you feel comfortable socializing in a large group and talking honestly about your feelings? If your answer to these questions is yes, it may interest you to take it upon yourself to set up a healthy eating club. This is a brilliant opportunity for you to make a positive difference to your local community. If you are wondering how to make a success of your club, you should pay close attention to the following four tips.

Stay in contact with one another

If you do decide to set up a healthy eating club, it is important that you stay in touch with all of your club members. Supporting each other is essential if you are going to ensure each and every person achieves their goal. It may be a good idea to organize regular group meetings. Why not hire out a community hall or take it in turns to host the gatherings at your home?

Make the most of technology

In between meetings, your group should also be making the most of technology. This is a great way for you to encourage your members to confront their eating habits head-on. One idea is to get everyone in your club to buddy up. Then, each person will have someone to turn to when they are tempted by an unhealthy snack or an excessive portion size. Digital platforms such as snapchat will allow your members to send each other regular updates on the food that they are consuming. Alternatively, if you happy to share your journeys on a public platform, you could turn to Instagram or Facebook.

Provide plenty of helpful information

The next step is to provide your members with plenty of helpful hints and tips. Of course, you can do this via your digital devices, but you should also endeavor to give everyone physical copies of the information they need to know. Perhaps you could use an online brochure maker to create a useful handout. Your members can pin it to their family notice board or use a magnet to hang it on their fridge. In addition to this, you could design healthy recipe cards and striking posters that are filled with positive affirmations.

Educate yourself

Before pushing ahead with your plans to share helpful information, it is vital that you educate yourself regarding dieting and nutrition. If you are dealing with people who are struggling with their health, it is important that you aren’t leading them down the wrong path. Perhaps research local useful courses at your local community center. You could also meet with a dietician and pick their brains. In addition to this, you should evaluate your personal health and make sure that you are setting a good example. Taking these steps will come in handy when you are creating healthy eating plans, supporting the mental health of your members, and promoting positive approaches to measuring progress.

Tips to keep your joints healthy

Did you know that there are over 100 types of arthritis? One of the worst feelings is becoming immobile-not being able to walk by yourself or worse is being disabled. Imagine being a victim of disability due to mere negligence. A sedentary lifestyle, activity limitation, and improper diet could lead to arthritis.

It’s a misconception that arthritis is a disease of old age, it can happen to an infant of 1 year too. If the sources were to be believed, it’s estimated that by 2040, 78 million (26%) US adults ageing 18 years or older might have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Our tips will help you keep your joints healthy and help in arthritis pain relief:

  1. Avoid High Heels:

High heels are appealing, but they come at a cost. Experts say that a 3-inch heel causes 7 times greater stress than a 1-inch heel. Greater stress ultimately leads to excess pressure on knees, thereby increasing your chances of developing arthritis.

If you’re already an arthritis patient and are using arthritis relief products then you must ditch your high heels right away.

  1. Exercise Regularly:

The lack of proper and regular exercise can increase the risk of arthritis and related ailments. It is essential to maintain the flexibility of your body. Remain active. Ditch the lifts, take the staircase. You’re not expected to hit the gym every morning and do intensive exercising, but some basic exercise that will help you remain fit is mandatory. If you are a beginner, you can always begin with the basic Yoga for arthritis. No matter what your age is, a small exercise routine will help you in the long run. If you don’t want to wear knee braces or other products for senior citizens in your old age, start exercising today.

  1. Proper Nutrition:

A poor diet is one of the main causes of arthritis. People are choosing junk food, drive-through over salad and healthy home-cooked food. Not just arthritis, a poor diet can lead to many other fatal ailments. The junk that we eat contains saturated fats that are very bad for your body. Science has proved that saturated fat can increase your bad cholesterol and increase the chances of heart diseases. Add colour to your diet, eat green vegetables as well as a lot of fruits to maintain good health and weight. If you don’t want to be dependent on arthritis relief products in the future, then make sure you are eating the right food.

  1. Maintain Ideal Weight:

By maintaining an ideal weight, you won’t just look prettier, but will also save yourself from depending on those arthritis relief products. You don’t have to go skinny, but make sure that your BMI is on point. If you want to keep your joints healthy, keep a tab of your weight. A research shows that losing around 5 kgs can positively impact your joints’ health and reduce the risk of arthritis by 50%.

While these tips won’t instantly provide arthritis pain relief, using these tips to transform your lifestyle will benefit you in the long run. Begin with walking and if you think you can’t do these things alone, get a buddy or find a group of health enthusiasts and you won’t find yourself struggling. You will rather enjoy the transformation. Don’t wait until you become a victim of arthritis and have to depend on arthritis relief products.